Coventry reports third quarter results

Coventry Health Care reported operating revenues of $3.4 billion for the third quarter and net earnings of $70.6 million.

In a conference call this morning, Coventry CEO Allen Wise said the third quarter was better than expected and mentioned having signed an agreement to purchase Preferred Health Systems from Via Christi Health.

"I am both pleased and optimistic about the long-term Via Christi relationship," he said.

Coventry is based in Bethesda, Md., and operates in all 50 states. Coventry Health Care of Kansas has offices in Kansas City, Mo., and Wichita.

The sale, announced earlier this month, is expected to be finalized in the next 90 days, Wise said.

He said third-quarter results had been affected in part by "a serious flu season," possible pressures on the risk pool with the layoffs of younger employees and COBRA.

Shawn Guertin, chief financial officer, said, "The waters are still choppy out there."